DEKALB COUNTY, GEORGIA – A DeKalb County police “Officer of the Month” who was charged with stealing from people he had arrested has been fired, the department said Thursday.
Officer Ghayth Abdul-Mughnee, on the force for four years, was arrested Wednesday on a warrant charging him with theft by taking, possession of marijuana and violation of his oath of office. He was taken to DeKalb police headquarters in handcuffs.
Asked if he stole, the 30-year-old Abdul-Mughnee told Channel 2 Action News, “No, I’m innocent.”
“My girlfriend is setting me up,” he said.
The officer had been placed on administrative leave, and additional charges were pending, police said.
The investigation against him began when officers responded to a domestic call shortly after 2 a.m. Monday at the Abdul-Mughnee’s Lithonia home. The officer’s live-in girlfriend, Shawte White, told police about the alleged thefts as she was being arrested for simple assault.
Police said Abdul-Mughnee would bring items home from work that belong to people he arrested. Investigators said they found in the officer’s home a laptop computer, cell phone and iPod, as well as several bank cards and banking information.
The 33-year-old White also told investigators her boyfriend brought home marijuana he had seized from suspects, police said.
A police car Abdul-Mughnee had been allowed to take home as part of his Officer of the Month commendation for December was impounded as evidence.